The second I thought spring had arrived, we got a huge snow storm. I guess that’s Colorado for you… With the cold weather back, I decided to make another new soup. Once again, Cooking Light magazine has provided me with another delicious recipe. I love avocado, but I had never thought of putting it in my soup before! Using skim milk in this recipe makes it healthier, but you can always use heavy whipping cream if you prefer… see I can do comfort food and healthy at the same time! 😉
I recently read an article about edamame and all of its amazing health benefits. If you don’t know much about edamame, it is a green soybean that is a great source of protein, contains all 8 essential amino acids and has no cholesterol of trans-fats. It is high in fiber and iron as well. I’ve like edamame for a while now, but this just makes eating it even better! It is a great addition to many meals and is definitely one to try if you haven’t yet. This dish is simple- marinated shrimp and rice with edamame. When sautéing the shrimp, deglazing the pan adds a ton of flavor that regular sautéing wouldn’t.
Before I say anything about this recipe, I would like to announce the end of my comfort food bender. As good as all of the pizza and mac ‘n’ cheese has been, I am cleaning up my act. That’s not to say it won’t happen again sometime in the next few months, but for now I am going to be eating (and blogging) a bit healthier. I will be baking a bit though. For my final post of my bender, I give you these spicy, cheesy and tasty tacos.
First, I combined chorizo and beef for the base of these tacos, which makes the filling a bit more exciting. Then I added some spice with the seasonings and poblano chiles. To top it off, I made a pepper jack cheese sauce to pour over the tacos. Top them off with some lettuce and green onion and there you have it- a unique taco that will have you coming back for seconds (and more cheese sauce!).
Watching the Food Network can be dangerous sometimes. A few of my guy friends recently learned why I am so addicted to it after they watched a couple shows one night with me. Every recipe you see makes your mouth water and makes your hungry. This week we all found ourselves drooling over a chili cheese dog from some small-town diner. Being from Britian, my friends had never eaten a chili cheese dog, so I had to show them what they were missing!
This chili cheese dog is a bit different from others because it uses as bison chili instead of beef. The bison does not taste much different than the beef, but gives it a bit of new flavor. This recipe can easily be made with ground beef instead. Before you eat these bad boys, make sure you have a napkin and aren’t wearing a white shirt!
For some reason, I have been craving comfort food lately. It is probably not a good thing, considering I am going to Africa to the beach for three weeks, one month exactly from today! Oh well, what can you do. Cheese is one of my biggest weaknesses. I could probably eat an entire block of cheese as a snack, but I am getting off the topic.
Some of you may know, I recently was given a cook book called Raising the Salad Bar by Catherine Walthers. It is a great book that I recommend all of you take a look through at some point. It tells you about all the different sorts of leafy greens and types of salad toppings, as well as how to make all sorts of dressings. Either way, the book motivated me to make more unique salads. I usually find myself putting the same vegetables in every salad I make, despite what else I am eating it with. Now I have realized that choosing a salad that compliments a meal can make a huge difference.
With that said, this salad is much different than most I have made. I came across this recipe in a Cooking Light magazine while bored at work the other day- yes I spent half of my day at work reading cooking magazines… Shh! One thing that makes this salad unique is its warm vinaigrette. This dressing went perfectly with the roasted Brussels sprouts. The bacon and maple syrup also added a ton of flavor. This is one salad that did not need a ton of toppings to complete it. I even ate it as a complete meal the next day!
One thing I really miss about summertime is being able to grill. Grilling is fun, social and delicious. I have really been craving some warmth and sunshine lately, maybe it was the week of -30 degree temperatures a few weeks ago that made me sick of winter. Either way, with hopes for an early spring, I decided to make burgers this week, except I sauteed them instead of grilling them since winter is unfortunately still here for now.
I had seen a photo of an inside-out burger recently and the idea seemed pretty awesome. I added one homemade onion ring to the top of each slider to create a seriously tasty combo; added a bit of adobo barbecue sauce that I had made previously and voila! The perfect miniature burger for a spring-time grill out.
Soups and stews are great for an easy, worry-free dinner. All you need to do is combine the ingredients and let the pot work its magic. If you have other things to do, or don’t feel like slaving over your stove, I highly recommend making a soup or stew. Me being the spice lover that I am, I like to go buck wild when making mine. You would have to add a LOT of spices to mess up… When in doubt always give it an extra shake. It is also important to taste along the way with soups and stews as well though, just in case the flavor needs to be adjusted. I usually try to wait until the end before adding any salt.
This stew is healthy and delicious. If you were a fan of my Italian Sausage and Tortellini Soup, I suggest making this one as well. Many pork stew recipes use hominy, but I opted for using chickpeas because they are packing with nutrients and are much healthier than a corn based product. If you like your stew spicier, add a bit of cayenne pepper to this recipe. This is great serves with a toasted loaf of French bread.
After cooking many meals for friends, I realized that nothing excites people more than a delicious pizza. This week I threw a pizza party with friends. We only had one oven and two pizza trays, so we could only cook two pizzas at a time. In the end, I made six 14″ pizzas. We cut each pizza into ten slices, one for each person, and sampled one slice of each pizza. We would decide which pizzas were coming next while the previous two were baking. By the sixth pizza, we could barely take another bite!
We made all sorts of pizzas- from BBQ Chicken to Chicken Alfredo to Meat Lovers all the way to Hawaiian. Each time a new pizza was taken out, everybody was riled up- “This one is my favorite!” “Wait, no, THIS one is my favorite!” “Ah, no, THIS one is definitely the best!” I have never seen my friends so excited about something I cooked. This made me being to think about the wondrous pizza pie. A fresh pizza crust is like a blank canvas for a chef. You can combine any flavors you want to create your own unique masterpiece. I suggest to all of you that you make homemade pizzas at some point. My advice? Be adventurous, take risks, mix unlikely combinations- you’ll be impressed with the outcome!
Super Bowl Sunday means finger food and a messy kitchen right? Wrong. This Sunday you can make a delicious- and filling- full meal. Plus, it won’t keep you in the kitchen all day away from the company. Of course, this doesn’t mean you can’t always make some messy finger food to go with it! This chili, adapted from my mom at Cooking With Michele, has the buffalo wing flavor, combined with healthy ingredients like carrots and celery. Adding blue cheese to the chili and the garlic bread completes the dish and gives you an authentic buffalo wing feel without the mess- or the fat!